Here's how to make sure your daughter is always blooming to be the best version of herself.
A mother-daughter bond can be such a complex relationship. Sometimes she's your best friend, sometimes your worst enemy... especially during those dreadful, angsty teenage years. But no matter what, if you put in the work, these relationships can blossom into something warm and wonderful. Your child is like a young sapling in the ground that you're waiting to watch bloom. With the right amount of the elements you can provide you can nurture her till she thrives and turns out to be the best version of herself. If you're looking to improve your relationship with your daughter, Psych Central shared five sure shot ways to build healthy communication between mom and daughter. Here are some universal tips that may be useful to these diverse relationships.
It's important for both mom and offspring to keep in touch. Roni Cohen-Sandler, Ph.D., psychologist and co-author of I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You! A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict, said, "In some ways, they can be so close or feel so close that they believe that each of them should know how the other one feels. What happens as a result is they don’t communicate." Since people are not mind readers, it's important to talk and express what's on your mind. A lack of communication can cause hurt feelings that "don’t go away so easily," Dr. Cohen-Sandler said. Be transparent and share your feelings honestly, and another way is to do it is "in a very heartfelt but gentle manner."
If there is conflict don't be afraid to be the first person to reach out. According to marriage and family therapist Dr. Linda Mintle and author of I Love My Mother, But… Practical Help to Get the Most Out of Your Relationship, you should be capable to make adjustments to your responses and reactions. Imagine it as a dance, she said. When one person changes their step, the whole dance also changes. So go ahead and take a chance.
When conflicts arise, our feelings may be heightened and emotions can get the better of us. React, feel your emotions but if possible learn to forgive. It’s "an individual act," Mintle said. It differs from reconciliation, which requires both sides, and is not always possible. To forgive someone does not mean that what happened is okay. It is not pardoning, condoning, or making light of "the impact", she said. Forgiveness may also help ease your mind and help you find peace. "I’m constantly telling daughters you have to forgive your mom in order to be healthy … The power of forgiveness is really for the person who forgives." She added, "The better you can forgive, the better you can repair damage quickly."
Don't try to convince the other person to change their minds. You won't be able to agree on every issue from parenting, relationships to career. Learn that you'll different individuals and will react to situations in their own way, and realize that it's okay! Cohen-Sandler said that moms feel dismayed and rejected that their daughters make different decisions. Alternatively, daughters think their mothers disapprove of them and become defensive. "it’s really healthy for moms and daughters to have major disagreements." It might even bring you'll closer.
Be an active listener. This means "reflecting back what the other person is saying," instead of assuming you already know, Cohen-Sandler said. When you reflect back on what your mom or daughter is saying, you’re telling her that she’s being heard and that you understand. Be empathetic and kind. In addition, listen "to the feelings underlying the message," which is often the real message, she said. If "mom says, 'you’re acting like a doormat,' the daughter hears that as being horribly critical [and that she’s not good enough], but what the mom is really saying is, 'I feel so protective of you because you’re not protecting yourself.'"
Look at the bright side of things, and watch your relationship grow into something beautiful. Do you have any other tips you'd like to add?
COVER IMAGE SOURCE: Getty Images/ Ariel Skelley